origins of valentine's day




vALENTINE'S DAY goes back to the third century, the period 200 to 300 AD when the Roman Empire ruled the world. During this time there were two saints named Valentine who performed heroic acts that made them martyrs within the Christian religion. They were both beheaded by the Romans, one for performing illegal marriages of young couples and the other for preaching Christianity before it was legal. The name Valentine's Day probably comes from one or both of them.

one popular legend supposes that he was a priest from Rome in the third century. Valentine was believed to have broken the rules on banned marriages and arranged marriages instead. He was thrown in jail and sentenced to death. While in prison, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and when he was taken to be killed was on February 14 and it was believed he sent her a letter “from your Valentine.” That is another theory on how the day got its name and how letters were written from that time. From that day on St. Valentine’s name was used by people to express their feelings of love for one another.



St. Valentine was also known for his powers for curing epilepsy, a disease involving dramatic seizures that plagued and terrified people over the centuries. Believed to be caused by demons, St. Valentine would perform exorcisms to rid people of the demons and thus cure their epilepsy.

Chapels and art all over Europe depict St. Valentine and his mystical healing powers, but St. Valentine's legacy has been enshrined as a day for people to celebrate romantic love.



as Valentine's Day flowers began as a tradition in the 17th century, since roses, which represent love in all its forms, were the flowers of choice for the Day. The rose is supposed to be the favorite flower of Venus, the Goddess of Love, because it stood for strong feelings. As a result, lovers began giving flowers to those they cared about to show their love for each other.





The Valentine’s Day tradition of giving a box of candy was started in the 19th century by Richard Cadbury, a British chocolate manufacturing family. With a new technique recently established at the company to create more varieties of chocolate, Cadbury pounced on the opportunity to sell the chocolates as part of the popular holiday.

Cadbury marketed the boxes as having several purpose: When the chocolates had all been eaten, the box itself was so pretty that it could be used again and again to store mementos, from locks of hair to love letters




A candy company started making conversation hearts in 1901, British men and women exchanged ‘kissing comfits’ to sweeten the breath and perhaps ask for a kiss.

conversation heart Candies Started Out as Lozenges

The iconic chalky heart-shaped candies that have been passed out every Valentine’s Day started out as lozenges.

inventor Oliver Chase created a machine that would quickly create the lozenges before switching to using the machine to create candy known as necco Wafers.

The company came up with the idea to print messages on the candy in 1866, and the candies got their heart shape in 1901, appealing specifically to Valentine’s Day sweethearts.




in todays modern-day celebrations

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love. People confess their feelings to a love interest and tell them how much they are admired. Couples make each other feel special by showering warmth and affection. Traditional gifts, wishes and red roses are presented to a significant other as a symbol of love.

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